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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Heat Drives Chicken Wings at Quaker Steak & Lube

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Several years ago I found a place in Erie, Pa., named Quaker Steak & Lube. It was a small regional chain with chicken wings as its specialty. I tried the spiciest offering at the time, aptly named “Atomic.” It was definitely a challenge to eat. The chain has since expanded beyond Pennsylvania, and now there is one in New Berlin (4900 S. Moorland Road). The automotive décor makes the place look like a service station garage. Chicken wings, still a specialty, are served with more than 20 different sauces. The sauces are ranked according to the Scoville scale, which measures the intensity of hot peppers. The lowest, at 90 Scoville units, is ranch dressing. The “Atomic” clocks in at 150,000 units. For the most daring, there is even a “Triple Atomic” that rates a 500,000 on the scale—meltdown level. The third spiciest, called “SuperCharged,” rates 30,000, which seems a bit tame after trying the “Atomic.”